Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Seven Ways to Have a Happier Week . . . Day by Day

Maybe the weather is gray and rainy or your child isn't feeling well today. You aren't able to complete a project at work, because the items you needed aren't there on time. Or this has been a boring week and you don't feel like doing much of anything. Whatever is holding you down, make each day better by trying even one suggestion a day, and before you know it, the days will add up into a better week. Here they are:

1) Set achievable goals for the day ahead. Checking the most important items off your to-do list at the end of the day can give you a sense of accomplishment. Check out Lisa Betz’s article, “Is This Habit Stealing Your Happiness?” which is essentially about how procrastination and lack of direction can rob us of a sense of fulfillment. I know I feel better when I have direction and make better use of my time! Even Moses asked God to help him number his days, so he could apply his heart to wisdom. (Ps. 90:12)

2) Thank someone today. Research has shown that being grateful helps you focus on the positive. If you’re busy thinking about what you have to be thankful for, some of life’s little annoyances seem less important. Take a few minutes to call someone or write them a note to say “thanks.” Take a minute to give God thanks for your blessings.

3) Enhance your mood with color. As far as making you feel happier, the yellows have it! Wearing soft yellows or painting a room with the warm, muted hues of sunshine may possibly perk you up. Greens and blues infused with green are also happy enhancing colors. Besides, what makes you happier than being outside in the spring, with green grass and trees, along with warm golden sunshine.

If anxiety is bringing you down, soft, caressing blues in the environment will help you relax. Wear light blue clothing, or bring the sky inside by adding an inexpensive decorative blue pillow and a comfy throw to your family room furniture to help bring calm.

4) Boost Endorphins with Exercise! Get out there and swing your arms a bit on a walk. This will release chemicals called endorphins in your brain, which give a natural sense of euphoria. Best of all, endorphins are non-addictive, though you may find you enjoy how exercise makes you feel. Warning—you may want to try it again.

Something as easy as walking, yard work, playing with the kids or dog, can be an enjoyable form of exercise. (In my case, it could be playing hide and seek with the cat for 10 minutes—indoors.)

5) Do unto others . . . Think about what you can do today or yet this week, which would be an encouragement to someone else. Take cookies or flowers to a neighbor, wash their car, or hold the door open at the department or grocery store for a young mom coming through with a stroller. Let the elderly person with two items, in the grocery line, go ahead of you and your filled to the brim basket. Then watch them smile! Which brings me to . . .

This made you smile, didn't it?
6) Just smile. Proverbs 15:13 talks about the relationship between smiling and heart attitude:
merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
An article on the science of smiling shares that a genuine smile can make you feel better than eating chocolate or receiving a large amount of cash! Your brain knows when you have a genuine smile, which reaches your eyes. This kind of smile will immediately help you feel happy and relaxed, instead of the quick socially polite smile, which is just an upturned mouth. Even better, you can retrain yourself to have a genuine smile. Think about a good memory, those you love, and well . . . we’re back to counting our blessings! Read this article about “Top Reasons to Make You Smile” if you need more encouragement in that area. Some days I do.

7) Get More Rest. Turn off the television and computer, curl up with a favorite book or take a warm bath before bed. Getting to bed earlier, so you get more sleep will help you feel recharged. It’s just common sense . . . and something I need to work on myself! 

I had fun researching how to help you have a better week, knowing this is advice I can use as well. What helps you have a better day or week?

Tweet this: Did you know that a genuine smile can make you feel better than eating chocolate?

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